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A straightforward yet testing opener requires a good tee shot for an unobstructed go at the green, with a hazard left and woods right. Long hitters may have to scale back off the tee as a deep creek bed cuts directly across the fairway. A level green is guarded left and right by bunkers, so use ample club on the approach.
The number one handicap hole comes by its rating honestly. It requires a long and perfectly-placed fade off the tee to allow any chance to go for the raised par-5 green in two. Shorter hitters will find the second shot as tough as the first, the fairway pinched by a hazard left and woods on the right. Take an extra club to the uphill green and mind the steep front slope. There’s plenty of movement on the surface to further complicate matters.
This shortish par-4 is a bit of a breather after the second hole, although a pull off the tee will find a large fairway bunker. The approach shot should steer clear of a steep fall-off on the left, and stay below the hole if possible on this sharply sloping green, back to front.
A deep bunker guards the front and right of this par-3, with a grassy fall-off on the left. The green is anything but level, so two putts are not assured.
An almost 90-degree dogleg left makes this par-4 all about the drive. Long hitters can risk a mighty blast over the trees and leave a short iron to the green. A safer shot will have to steer around a left fairway bunker, leaving a longer second shot to a green bunkered left and right. Don’t go long here and risk having to hit out of deep grass.
A tantalizing short par-4 begs an attempt to drive the green, although reason may suggest otherwise. The green is open on the left side, but otherwise well-protected by a bunker complex front, right and behind. A miss should be left to leave a clearer shot to the putting surface, which has plenty of movement to it.
A short par-5 that is nonetheless a real strategic puzzle, as the hole plays down a hill, pass a large pond on the right to a wide and topsy-turvy green protected in front by a devilish little pot bunker. A long and accurate drive down the hill can set up a second shot to the green, but the tee shot is blind and offline hits can lead to a big number. A safe shot that stays on the upper level leaves the player looking at a pretty downhill vista, while pondering a fairway wood toward the green, or a layup left of the pond.
While the tee shot looks all downhill on this par-3, the green rises again from a bit of a valley, so there’s more carry required than at first apparent. Another good time to stay below the hole, as the green slopes back to front.
The ninth is a classic par-4 (the second of the “old” holes on the course) which merely requires a stout tee shot and a perfect iron to a raised green that is tough to hold. The hole plays longer than it looks, and slicers beware, as OB runs all along the right side.
Grip it and rip it on this brawny par-5--just avoid the OB on the right. None but the longest can reach the green in two. Second shot is likely to be blind, but landing area is broad. Green opens up more to shots on the left. There are bunkers left and right of this long green, so take ample club for the approach.
An even brawnier uphill par-4 which plays long. Take an extra club on the approach shot, but try to leave it below the hole. This is the most pitched green on the course, well-tilted back to front, so putting can be a real adventure here.
A shorter but tricky par-4. The best approach is from the left side off the tee. Shots right risk being blocked by a large tree. Don’t go left or long here; there’s a bit of bailout area right of the green.
A pretty par-3 requiring a lengthy shot to the large and long green. The putting surface tilts from upper right down to the left.
A short par-4 that’s a good birdie opportunity, but the tee shot is crucial. Long hitters may want to dial back since long and left could wind up in a hazard. Short hitters could find the second shot blind. Ideal is a soft fade to the right side of the fairway, leaving a downhill short iron in.
A robust par-4 with a generous landing area. A dip in front of the green is a bit of visual trickery--make sure to take enough club for the approach and watch out for the troublesome bunker on the right.
A straightforward downhill par-3 to a steeply inclined green, from upper left down to the right. Staying below the hole highly recommended here.
One of the prettiest tee views on the course, but pay attention to your club selection. It may be smarter to leave the driver in the bag and aim for the chute leading down from the 150-yard marker. The second shot will play slightly uphill, and balls will run significantly from right to left on the green.
You can air it out on the home hole. The mounding right of the fairway is negotiable, but avoid the cross bunker that cuts across from the left side well ahead of the green, which is tilted back to front.
Senator Gannett Drive, 348 Upper Dummerston Road
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Brattleboro Country Club